By Compassionate Finance on Nov 21, 2017 7:00:00 AM
Patients walking away from procedures because of cost-related issues is probably the number-one issue holding healthcare practices back from achieving growth. Doctors want to help as many patients as possible, but the same conversation occurs all too often — the concern that a patient, based on credit score or checking history — can’t qualify for traditional financing.
The reality is procedure costs, much less credit scores, don’t have to hold you or your patients back. If your mission is higher case acceptance, the goal of your practice will inevitably revolve around making procedures affordable. Through the gateway of easy and affordable payment options, not only will more patients say “yes” to treatment, but you can grow your practice without incurring the payment risks doctors might expect.
You want to help as many people as possible, and patients unable to qualify for traditional financing are no exception. Imagine the prospect of helping any patient that walked into your practice regardless of financial circumstance. Imagine knowing confidently they could leave with a plan that put their procedure in affordable reach.
The difference between helping some of your patients to helping most/all patients can also mean the difference between stagnation and growth. If the potential risks of a larger patient pool is a concern, there are myriad ways to tackle the issue head-on while achieving your practice’s goals.
Manage Payments Over Time Without Hassle
So you might have already imagined a world where you can viably help any patient, but then you wonder about payment collection. If growing your practice is the goal, revenue is a fairly important piece of the puzzle. You want to feel confident that, once you’ve made procedures affordable, you can realistically achieve your projected growth. You also don’t want to add any unwanted burden or costs to your staff by focusing their attention on payment collection.
Fortunately, payment programs like those offered by Compassionate Finance manage collection on behalf of a practice, saving you the time and monetary costs of managing it yourself. The collection process is diligent, so patients are well aware of when payments are due and how they can better plan ahead for the next one.
There is also complete transparency for you to see how collection efforts are progressing, whether or not there are any late payments, and what percentage of owed payments you’re receiving. This gives you a reliable way for your practice to measure if you’re achieving your growth goals in real time.
As more patients say “yes” to care — as they inevitably will when given affordable payment options — the risks associated with helping even low-credit patients will be offset by diligent collection you don’t even have to manage yourself.
Offset Costs with Down Payment Terms
To give you more security with your plans and significantly cut the risk of accepting more patients, various down payment programs have been adopted by practices that you can similarly adopt if they work for you. One dentist, Dr. Robert LaCosse of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, collects 20 percent down to cover lab expenses and material costs for procedures (these typically average upwards of $15,000 each).
Since Dr. LaCosse adopted his Compassionate Finance payment program, he’s completed more treatments and averages at least two more patients per month. He was able to increase his revenue by setting an average loan term of 48 months with an overall collection rate of 99 percent. So even while he’s accepting more patients, he’s still able to grow without accruing almost any outstanding costs through the payment collection process.
While you don’t have to follow this exact model, having a practice-specific down payment model can help you accommodate more patients while keeping your practice on pace for safe growth.
Affordability = Safe Growth + Care Patients Deserve
Patients that are not a good fit or can’t qualify for traditional financing don’t have to forego getting the care they need, want and deserve. You have the tools at your disposal to make every procedure affordable. Patients want the best care, and you can feel liberated offering the procedures you would recommend out of the gate instead of downgrading to a different treatment for fear of a patient’s ability to pay.
Since adopting the Compassionate Finance platform, practices have seen as much as 40 percent growth (one North Carolina dental practice is seeing an average of $300,000 in treatment per office per month in four locations with a collection rate of 95 percent). Not only are patients affording their procedures through payment plans (and sticking to payments), patients express they’re more satisfied with their overall experience.
Through affordable payment options, your patients can walk out of your practice knowing they whatever procedure they need, it’s within reach.
Your patients are worth it.